Cataract surgery is one of the most common operations performed and one of the safest and most effective. Surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with a substitute lens. If cataracts are present in both eyes, they cannot be removed at the same time. Your physician will need to perform surgery on each eye separately.

Two Different Surgery Options

Cataracts are generally removed in one of two ways:

  1. Phacoemulsification (small incision cataract surgery)
  2. Extracapsular surgery

Phacoemulsification (also called small incision cataract surgery)

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Phacoemulsification is the most common type of cataract removal procedure. The surgeon makes a small incision on the side of the cornea—the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye—where a tiny probe emits ultrasound waves to soften and break up the cloudy center of the lens. The cataract is then removed by suction through the same incision.

Extracapsular Surgery

During this procedure, a longer incision is made on the side of the cornea to remove the hard center of the lens; the remainder of the lens is then removed by suction.

Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery

As an alternative to manual incisions, the Moran Eye Center also offers laser-assisted cataract surgery. The Alcon® LenSx® Laser adds computer control to key steps of the procedure. Its unique system analyzes high-resolution OCT images of your eye; helps the surgeon to design a customized procedure; and then, visualizes and performs the procedure on command from the surgeon.

To further enhance accuracy, a patient interface connects your eye to the image-guided surgical unit, so that both the LenSx® Laser computer and the surgeon commanding it have precise, real-time images at all times during the laser procedure.

Intraocular Lenses (IOLs)

In most cataract surgeries the removed lens is replaced by an intraocular lens (IOL), according to the National Eye Institute. An IOL is a clear, artificial lens that requires no care and becomes part of the eye. With an IOL, a person has improved vision because light will be able to pass through the retina. The recipient of the new lens does not see it or feel it.

Two Types of Lenses:

  • Single focus lenses - The most common type of lenses used in cataract surgery are monofocal (or single focus) lenses. These can be fitted to provide either near or distance vision—most patients opt for far vision in both eyes. As a result, reading glasses are usually required after surgery, and glasses are sometimes required for vision at far distances as well. This type of lens is covered by Medicare.
  • Multifocal lenses, advanced option - These implants split the light coming into your eye for distance and near vision, and provide the most freedom from glasses. In a few patients, these implants can cause halos (rings around lights at night) which tend to fade four to six weeks after surgery. A corneal procedure correcting astigmatism can be performed at the same time by your doctor. Medicare provides partial coverage for these lenses.*

*Patients with certain eye conditions including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, retinal scar tissue, corneal scars, or who previously underwent radial keratotomy, are ineligible for this type of lens. Your doctor will review your examination findings to determine if you are a good candidate.

Find more information on IOLs.

Astigmatism Correction

Your doctor can use laser reshaping of the cornea or an astigmatism-correcting lens implant to treat your astigmatism at the time of cataract removal. Astigmatism occurs when the cornea (front window) of the eye is shaped more like a football than a sphere. If you have astigmatism of the cornea, leaving it untreated would mean you would need glasses for both distance and near vision after cataract removal.

Learn more about astigmatism correction with toric lenses.

Advanced Option: Accommodating Lens Implants

These implants change position within your eye based on your eye muscle effort. Accommodating lenses can treat astigmatism, but give slightly less near power than multifocal lenses. They are typically used in patients who are ineligible for multifocals due to mild or moderate glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, retinal scar tissue, corneal scars, or prior radial keratotomy. Medicare provides partial coverage for these lenses.

Cataracts

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more information about IOLs

Intraocular Lens (IOL) Implants

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William R. Barlow, Jr., MD

Patient Rating:

4.6

4.6 out of 5

Dr. Barlow is an experienced comprehensive ophthalmologist and ocular surgeon with a specific interest in cataract and refractive surgery. He has experience performing complex cataract surgery, femtosecond laser cataract surgery, and refractive surgeries, such as LASIK, PRK, ICL, and clear lens extraction using premium intraocular lens technologies... Read More

Craig J. Chaya, MD

Patient Rating:

4.7

4.7 out of 5

Craig J. Chaya, MD, practices comprehensive ophthalmology with a focus on the medical and surgical management of routine/complex cataracts and glaucoma at the John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City. He also practices at Moran’s clinics at the Redwood Health Center and Midvalley Health Center. He is an Assistant Clinical Profes... Read More

Alan S. Crandall, MD

Patient Rating:

4.8

4.8 out of 5

Alan S. Crandall focuses on the medical and surgical management of glaucoma and cataracts, as well as complicated anterior segment surgery. Dr. Crandall has experience with trabeculoplasty and laser cyclophotocoagulation. He is involved in numerous clinical research studies at the Moran Eye Center. Dr. Crandall lectures all over the world and was... Read More

Bradley J. Katz, MD, PhD

Patient Rating:

4.6

4.6 out of 5

Bradley Katz, MD, PhD, provides medical and surgical care of eye conditions including cataract, glaucoma, diabetes, and macular degeneration at the John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City. He specializes in neuro-ophthalmology and evaluates patients with diseases that affect the optic nerve, diseases that affect eye movements a... Read More

Marissa B. Larochelle, MD

Dr. Larochelle is Academic Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at the John A. Moran Eye Center and specializes in cataract surgery as well as the diagnosis and management of patients with infectious and inflammatory conditions of the eye. She utilizes the latest medical and surgical treatment to care for patients with ocular dise... Read More

Amy Lin, MD

Patient Rating:

4.7

4.7 out of 5

Amy Lin, MD, specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of corneal and anterior segment diseases at the Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, and at the Moran Eye Center at the Midvalley Health Center. Her interests include corneal transplantation, anterior segment reconstruction, cataract surgery (including advanced technolo... Read More

Nick Mamalis, MD

Patient Rating:

4.8

4.8 out of 5

Nick Mamalis, MD, specializes in comprehensive ophthalmology including cataract and other anterior ocular surgeries at the John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City. Dr. Mamalis also practices at the Moran’s Midvalley Eye Center in Murray, and Redwood Health Center in West Valley. As Director of the Ophthalmic Pathology Laborat... Read More

Mark D. Mifflin, MD

Patient Rating:

4.8

4.8 out of 5

Mark D. Mifflin is a board-certified, fellowship trained cornea, cataract, and refractive surgeon with over 20 years of clinical experience.  His specialties include complex cataract surgery, all forms of corneal transplantion, reconstructive surgery of the anterior segment of the eye, and LASIK, PRK, and intraocular lens vision correction.  Dr. Mi... Read More

Jeff Pettey, MD

Patient Rating:

4.7

4.7 out of 5

Jeff Pettey is the John Moran Eye Center Director of Education and an Assistant Professor at the University of Utah Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.  Dr. Pettey specializes in complex cataract surgery and complex anterior segment surgery as with post-traumatic eye injuries.  He performs all forms of cataract surgery including premiu... Read More

Norm A. Zabriskie, MD

Patient Rating:

4.8

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Norm A. Zabriskie specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of glaucoma and cataracts. He is the Vice-Chairman of Clinical Operations and the Medical Director of the John A. Moran Eye Center. He has a research interest in the genetics of glaucoma.... Read More

Brian E. Zaugg, MD

Patient Rating:

4.7

4.7 out of 5

Brian Zaugg, MD, specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of corneal and anterior segment eye diseases, including expertise in all types of cornea transplantation, routine and complex cataract surgery (including multifocal lenses and laser assisted surgery), anterior segment reconstruction, pterygium removal, refractive surgery including L... Read More

John A. Moran Eye Center 65 Mario Capecchi Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84132
Map
801-581-2352
Midvalley Health Center 243 E 6100 S
Murray, UT 84107
Map
801-585-3937
Redstone Health Center 1743 W. Redstone Center Dr.
Park City, UT 84098
Map
435-658-9262
Redwood Health Center 1525 West 2100 South
Salt Lake City UT 84119
Map
801-213-8841
South Jordan Health Center 5126 W. Daybreak Parkway
South Jordan, UT 84009
Map
801-213-4500